A simple shake of salt enhances the taste of any food. But most of us eat too much of it—and usually in the form of processed foods and table salt. The problem: cheap, refined salt is stripped of naturally occurring minerals, upsetting the balance between sodium and potassium. It's also highly processed, and contains anti-caking agents and other additives. Artisan salts have a more pronounced flavor and texture, so you can use smaller amounts; and they're rich in naturally occurring trace minerals, like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Here are our 5 favorites to try, along with recipe ideas for each.

  1. Black Salt: Crystals are infused with charcoal, lending a dramatic appearance.
  2. Celtic Grey: takes its color and flavor from layers of rich, grey clay lining the floor of salt marshes.
  3. Red Hawaiian: terracotta in color, it's also rich in minerals from its high content of red volcanic clay (alaea) from the mountains in Hawaii. 
  4. Pink Peruvian: harvested from water with a high mineral content, the pale pink hue comes from minerals and red carotenoid pigments in the water.
  5. Fumée de Sel: sea salt that's cold-smoked in chardonnay oak barrels, creating a deep tan color and smoky aroma, with a hint of wine.

5 Gourmet Salt Recipes Ideas

  1. Toss papaya and jicama cubes with minced basil and a squeeze of lime; sprinkle with black salt.
  2. Roast cauliflower florets and shallots in olive oil, then toss with minced rosemary and Celtic grey salt.
  3. Thinly slice cooked gold beets, arrange on a bed of watercress, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with red Hawaiian salt.
  4. Combine Belgian endive leaves, avocado cubes, toasted hazelnuts and crumbled ricotta salata cheese, then sprinkle with fumée de sel.
  5. Toss honeydew melon balls with diced cucumber, minced basil, and minced mint leaves, and sprinkle with pink Peruvian salt.


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